Diné Leader Alray Nelson selected by Governor-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham to Indian Affairs Transition Team

December 4, 2018


New Mexico Governor-Elect Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday selected additional members to her transition team. These leaders will be responsible for providing the Governor-Elect with detailed reviews of the Higher Education Department, Public Education Department and Indian Affairs Department as part of the gubernatorial transition process. They will engage key stakeholders and current government agency personnel and provide detailed strategic recommendations on improving state government operations to Governor-elect Lujan Grisham.  


Several committees have been established by Lujan Grisham’s team to focus on different areas of government. The committee co-chairs include former New Mexico Governor Garry Carruthers, former Santo Domingo Governor Everett Chavez, and Principal and CEO of the Native American Community Academy Kara Bobroff as Co-Chairs of the Education and Indian Affairs Committee. 


Lujan Grisham said in a statement that the effort will be bipartisan, with the goal of setting the state on a new path and leveraging every possible opportunity.


“Michelle has been a tireless, decades-long advocate for our LGBTQ+ community and has a record of protecting and honoring the sovereignty of our Tribal Nations. Both as a Congresswoman and as our next Governor, Michelle brings bold leadership that New Mexico needs right now,” said Nelson from his home in Gallup, NM. “I believe Michelle will cultivate stronger relationships with our tribal leaders and uplift an Indian Affairs Department that is responsive to the needs of our Native communities. It is an honor to be joining such a notable list of leaders who are making a difference in Indian Country.” 


Members of the Indian Affairs Team: 

  • Regis Pecos, Former Governor, Cochiti Pueblo

  • Gabe Aguilar, Vice President, Mescalero Apache Tribe

  • Conroy Chino, Legislative Committee Co-Chair, All Pueblo Counsel of Governors

  • Alray Nelson, Board Chair, Equality NM & Diné Equality  

  • Paul Torres, Chairman, All Pueblo Council of Governors

  • Maxine Velasquez, General Counsel, Tesuque Pueblo

  • Alvin Warren, New Mexico Director, Kellog Foundation 


Alray Nelson is the founder and lead organizer for Diné Equality, the largest LGBTQ+ political advocacy organization in Indian Country. He continues to lead as the Board Chairman of the Equality New Mexico Foundation, served as the Native American Vote Organizer for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and is a former senior advisor for two Navajo Nation Presidents. In 2017, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development selected him as one of the Top 40 Native American Leaders Under 40. Nelson resides in Gallup, NM, and is the Director for Community Partnerships at Teach For America. 



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